• Dax J Martin-Cheeves

UNBOX: NES LEGO SET BUILD

PROJECT RETRO begins.


With everything winding down and me catching up, I finally took the time to put together this beast of a project. With my previous experience putting together the LEGO VOLTRON (which I will add to the blog post in the near future) I knew what I was up against.

For anyone who have never put together a LEGO set as sophisticated as this or may have not done one ever I can tell you this isn't just a simple put together jigsaw puzzles. LEGOS over the course of the last few decades have become an artistic and designing phenomenon as designers have evolved the once kid fun and family friendly block set from just building simple buildings or vehicles to incredible structures that resembles some of our favorite characters to familiar and iconic structures and monuments seen around the world. Architects have been known to use them to create physical 3D structures of what they are planning to build. Even recently FOX airs a reality TV competition dedicated to building the most over-the-top LEGO builds ever seen in the popular TV show LEGO MASTERS hosted by Will Arnett.


LEGO has become one of the most popular art forms of this generation thanks to highly creative and innovative artist who have a fandom for pop culture. It is because of great minds like them that we all can enjoy and celebrate LEGO no matter what age you are.



PREPPING FOR THE BUILD:


Putting together a LEGO set consisting of 2446 pieces is nothing to sneeze about. You must mentally prep for this (or any large build) as it is a test of your endurance, cognitive abilities, and perspective. Building a Lego set this elaborate will drain you especially if you go virtually non-stop as I did. This was a 2–3-day project that took the stand of over 11 hours to complete (NOTE: Times may vary per person). The one thing you must prep for is to focus. There will be times when you may get distracted and lose your place, pieces may fall on the floor which can take more time to put things together (NOTE: LEGO do provide some extra pieces that they believe are the ones to lose easiest). Either way, remaining tranquil and calm is the key to putting everything together right. I would not recommend building a LEGO set if you are stressed. While building your favorite items are fun, I would recommend you go into it with the idea of building the structure while remaining completely centered. The process will take its toll yet, it will be worth it at the end.



PHASE 1: NES CONSOLE & CARTRIDGE (TIME EST: 5hrs, 23mins).


This process took its toll. With an instruction book of over 200 pages and seven bags of Legos to separate and build the foundation and structure it was both calming and taxing. ADVICE: Take breaks in between stages of the build. When you are finished with a bag take a breather and allow yourself to rejuvenate. Take a lunch break to refuel if you are going to go non-stop building. If you work a 9-5 job, I suggest taking in an hour at minimum to not overwhelm or overexert yourself trying to do everything at once. You could experience fatigue in the process. You want the experience to be more fun than stressful and strenuous.

The one thing you need to look out for is the cartridge slot which you will allow you to insert the cartridge in the console exactly like you used to do when you once owned the genuine article. The slot piece has springs on them which you will need to recoil to connect it properly to the other Lego pieces. Everything else is easy to understand via the directions. As I mentioned before, keep focus on what you are doing so not to have to backtrack your steps. If done right, you will be rewarded with a beautiful gift of nostalgia in the form of Legos courtesy of Nintendo.


PHASE 2: TV BUILD (TIME EST: 5hrs, 37mins).

Working on the TV took about the same time to build as the NES console, yet it didn't feel as detailed as the first phase. Here I had the foundation of the TV which was the more tedious of task. The focus here is to make sure you have the gears symmetrically in place to allow rotation of other gears that would connect to it when everything comes together.

Once you get the foundation, back and side base together then the true fun begins.

The rotary belt which will be the base of your TV screen effect was the most enjoyable of all the parts I had to put together. Mostly because I knew it was the formation of creating the visuals of Super Mario Bros. Seeing that come to life was fantastic and when all said and done, I was more than pleased. Agan, make sure all Legos are symmetrical for you to rotate the scene. The crank you install on the side of the TV should be fluid allowing you to move Mario from piece to piece and make it appear as if he is traveling through the Mushroom stages. If it doesn't work, then you must go back to see if you missed a part or if you connected something incorrectly.


ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: LEGO BUILD COMPLETED

And there you have it! Take note that I opted to put together the controller last as it was the easiest to put together. The only misconception I had was that I thought it would only take me less than the time it did to put the cartridge together and in fact it took me double the time. Nonetheless, it was all done, and I had a sense of satisfaction only felt when beating Metroid Dread. Despite the contrast in content the two share more than the brand associated with them. They share a similar grind, effort, and determination to get it done. Putting this together proved the love I have for Nintendo, Legos, and the designers who produced this genius idea to pay homage to the legendary company. If you are interested in this product, I highly suggest that you seek it before it is gone. These is a limited time series much like the VOLTRON build.


If you can't find it in your nearby area, your best bet is to contact LEGO NEW YORK CITY in 5th Ave. to seek it there. Much like the Nintendo Switch OLED the store may have the greatest number of units to sale. But no matter where or how you purchase the set it is worth it.